Clothes for Texas

I’ve been powering through my Summer of Basics posts the past few days, due to the timing, but I confess it’s felt awkward to be talking about my shiny new clothes while monitoring the news about Hurricane Harvey. My whole Templer family is in Houston, and thankfully they are all safe and have miraculously suffered no damage. But as we all know, tens of thousands of people in Houston and the Gulf region have lost their homes and their possessions, and are currently displaced — so many with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

And of course, we all want to help, however we can. My friends over at Mason-Dixon Knitting have rounded up some knitting-community fundraisers going on at the moment. I know here in Nashville there are countless individuals and small businesses and organizations taking donations of diapers and toiletries, and driving them to Houston. The most immediate way to help is, of course, to make a monetary donation, such as to the Houston Food Bank or the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that was established by Houston’s mayor. (Or both. I’ve sent money to both, and am raiding Target for toiletries and underwear to contribute to one of the groups driving down on Monday.) The Times is maintaining a list of organizations taking a variety of types of donations (and also includes notes about how to avoid scams). But I keep thinking about all those people who’ve lost their clothes to the flood waters. I especially want to help with that.

There’s a list on Houston’s Emergency Operations Center website that’s being kept up to date with who’s accepting what, where and how. I spoke to the pastor of the Heavenly Hands Church currently listed there, and he said their most urgent needs at the moment — as they work to get people out of shelters and into apartments — is pajamas, toiletries, towels, and everything a person needs for a kitchen. He also said donations can be mailed; they are getting mail service there.

One organization I’m a longtime fan of, and have donated work-appropriate clothes to over the years, is Dress for Success. It seems to me there could be a rising demand for their services there as women try to get resettled. I’ve reached out to the Houston chapter about their needs and circumstances, and will let you know if/what I hear back.

If you have other ideas or suggestions, please share them!


– I hadn’t heard of this pre-existing organization before, and their amazing mission: Undies for Everyone. (via Milkfed) There will be more school kids than ever needing fresh undies down there.

– Imogene+Willie posted an update about the urgent need for tools and clean-up supplies


Harvey has made its way to Nashville at this point, and we’ve been under alternating flash-flood and tornado warnings since last night, so we’re hunkering down and slip-sliding into the Labor Day weekend. Wherever you are, I hope you’re safe and dry! See you back here next week—


23 thoughts on “Clothes for Texas

  1. Hope you all remain safe and dry in Nashville the next few days!!! I am in São Paulo, Brazil watching with sorrow the news about the Hurricane Harvey.

  2. I hope you all stay safe and glad your family is well. I’ve given to the ASPCA because there are a lot of animals that have been abandoned or separated from their families. Lots of shelters and rescue groups are trying to save them and get them into new homes.

  3. Pingback: Helping Because of Harvey – Yards of Happiness

  4. I hope you can stay safe. Thank you for looking into the local Dress for Success- I agree it’s a great organization, and would love to help if I can.

  5. Thank goodness your family is okay! and thank you for letting me know about undiesforeveryone. Such a great, great idea. I’ll be donating to them (and checking in with my kids’ school nurse).
    Thanks again!

  6. We in the Houston area are so grateful for the support we’ve been getting from all over the country. Especially glad to see your post, Karen. One thing you need to know is that the shelters have been inundated with clothing…to the point that they’re beginning to take the clothes to warehouses to store. I like the ideas for helping that you’ve posted, Karen. Monetary donations are probably best at this time. If anyone would like to know about reputable local organizations, I’d be happy to share info on those I know personally. One organization is feeding lunch to kids who would be getting free lunch at school. Houston schools won’t open until 9-11. Thanks for the support!!

  7. I love this call for specific clothing-related needs, as I have read this week about how unguided mass-donations can end up hampering aid efforts and don’t provide responders with the right kind of assistance for these communities (and can end up going to waste!). Specifically-requested items and donations directly to these on-the-ground organizations can go a long way!

  8. Karen, I grew up in Texas, went to high school in Houston, and have two siblings, and their families all there. They are all okay, thank goodness, and busy volunteering now. It is such a disaster, and my heart breaks for all those less fortunate than my loved ones. I know there are some good help suggestions listed at the Obama Foundation. I will try to link them later once I am at my desktop computer.

  9. You are so good at providing resources like this, and for that I thank you. Harvey has arrived in Cincinnati as well with high wind gusts and lots (for us) of rain, but it won’t come close to the devastating amount Houston has received. Another possible outlet for giving is to the Homeless of Houston–sorry I don’t have the accurate info. So glad your family is safe.

  10. First Texas, now Bangladesh, disasters seem to come in numbers at the moment. So sorry for everyone who have lost their homes and everything they own. Good to see such solidarity in the crafting community.

  11. I lived through Andrew here in Miami and many others both before and after so I know the desperation many people feel. I love what you’re doing to help.

  12. Thanks for posting this! It’s great that you are raising awareness about this.

    PetSmart Charities has also allocated three truckloads of donated pet food and supplies and at least $1 million in funding to help pets and pet owners impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

  13. Thanks for all the useful information on how to help all those effected by Harvey! I’m down in Florida currently, bracing myself for Irma, hoping she decides to show all the states some mercy right now. Especially to those over in Texas, that’s the last thing those poor people need right now. Karen, you have such a kind heart, the world needs more caring people like you!

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